True education allows its students to resume responsibility for our world

 

In 1954, one of the finest defenders of democracy described education as ‘the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to resume responsibility for it’. As such, Hannah Arendt – a long time hero of mine – argued that education is not only (not even primarily) about teaching young people how to read, write and memorise the decimals of Pi. Rather, the purpose of education is to equip people with the skills and competencies that enable them to improve the world by taking responsibility for the lives of those around them.

 

CanopyLAB discards the outdated emphasis on static
knowledge and reimagines education by focusing on the
dynamic competencies necessary to create impact in this world.

 

At its core, this is what CanopyLAB does. CanopyLAB discards the outdated emphasis on static knowledge and reimagines education by focusing on the dynamic competencies necessary to create impact in this world.

 

This is why I am proud to be the newest member of the team.

 

Hi everyone, my name is Nina and I have joined CanopyLAB as an eLearning Designer. To do so now is truly exciting as we are living in a time of rapid progress calling for a radical reconsideration of the way we approach education – on top of that it is equally exciting for me personally.

 

Two months ago, I graduated from Copenhagen Business School with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Politics. During this time, in the fall of 2017, I had had the fortune of enjoying a temporary stay at Cornell University in upstate New York. Aside from being an incredible and challenging intellectual experience, I brought two very specific learnings with me home. Firstly, a great admiration for the work and philosophy of Hannah Arendt as witnessed above. Secondly, an insight into an entirely different conception of work and study than what I had known from home.

 

In Denmark, we have long conceived of education as
pastime exclusive to the first 25 years of our lives.


In Denmark, we have long conceived of education as a pastime exclusive to the first 25 years of our lives. We rush through primary school and high school, obtain a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree and then we start to work – and we continue to do so until retiring 45 years later. 

 

However, most of this is done without stopping to reflect upon what it actually is we are learning, what we have become capable of doing and what we specifically need to learn to do the things we wish to do in the future.

 

Today, we strongly depend on a fast-swinging revolving
door between work and educational opportunities.

 

This approach may have worked in the past but is now entirely disjointed from the characteristics of a labour market with dwindling workplace loyalty and thus increasing amounts of job-hopping – and where the speed of technological progress is moving at exponential rates. Today, we strongly depend on a fast-swinging revolving door between work and educational opportunities.

 

I therefore took inspiration from the American system where most students take time off from university after their bachelor’s degree. They go out into the world and put their skills to the test at a real-life job, well-aware that they can return to school at a later stage. At this nervous inflection point, I was lucky enough to run into Sahra-Josephine, who offered me a spot in her ambitious new company that is equally trying to rethink the way we work and learn. But unlike me (and luckily for their customers and partners) they don’t simply settle for doing so once in a blue moon, but rather they make it their core mission to offer a different type of learning experience and philosophy.

 

And so – with experience from the Danish and American education systems (as well as the Singaporean, but that is a different story entirely), the educational NGO world as well as from internal training programs in large corporations, I have seen many examples of how educational programs can be run. Now I am ready to resume responsibility for them.

 

Nina Möger Bengtsson

 



 

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